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Birth of an Empire
First in the series

by Conn Iggulden

      I have always been a history buff, and Genghis Khan has always been one of my special interests.  When I discovered Conn Iggulden's epic about Temujin of the Blue Wolves tribe, history really came alive.  Iggulden did his research on Genghis Kahn and his time period in history.  He did take a bit of literary license for the sake of the story, but only in a minor way.

Temujin, his mother and his brothers were abandoned when his father was murdered.  His survival, on the barren and frigid Mongolian plains, was not something that the murderer anticipated...but survive he did, and by sheer will, brought together the vast Mongolian tribes into a terrible and dreaded force.  Constant raiding and war was the normal way of life, using bow and arrow, swords, knives, spears  and axes.  Peace was not a term that was even understood, and revenge was high on his list of desired accomplishments.

In this first volume of the series, Temujin goes from being an abandoned child to one of history's greatest generals; a leader without equal.  He accomplishes this through his physical strength and cunning, and manages to overpower and gain the loyalty of all the minor tribes in a conquering force unequalled in history.

This is a rare book that brings you right into the action and makes you forget that you are not actually there.  Easy to read; impossible to put down.  Author of the bestseller Emperor, the series about the life of Julius Caesar, Conn Iggulden is a writer who begs comparison to no one.  I just added him to my list of favorite authors.

The Book

Delacorte Press
May 1, 2007
Fiction / Historical / Biographical [1174 Asia]
More at
NOTE: The second book in the series, Lords of the Bow, is also reviewed on

The Reviewer

Beverly J. Rowe
Reviewed 2008
NOTE:Reviewer Beverly J. Rowe is's "Babes to Teens" columnist, covering topics related to reading ideas for the youth in the family.
© 2008